A Miller Custom Art-Carved Hearse
It's difficult to believe this unique Packard hearse was a last-ditch attempt by the A.J. Miller Co. to convince Packard to continue their business relationship - and it failed.
In 1938, Packard Motor Co. signed a new, exclusive agreement with Henney Motor Co. to provide chassis for hearses, effectively ending a decade-long agreement with Miller. In response. A.J. Miller Co. of Bellefontaine, Ohio, created an elegant, one-of-a-kind professional car on a 1938 Packard Eight chassis. The side panels were painstakingly hand-carved from wood and are perfectly matched. The interior is reminiscent of a cathedral, with arches lining the sides. A 4.6-liter straight-8 engine moves the 4,200 pound hearse with ease. The Packard is rear-wheel drive and the driver uses a three-speed manual transmission on the floor. The 282 cubic-inch engine produces 120 horsepower.
Miller presented the hearse to Packard officials to demonstrate what they could create in custom body building but Packard chose to end its relationship with Miller. Miller continued to produce professional cars for years on General Motors' bodies. Packard went out of business in 1958.
The one-and-only 1938 Miller-Packard hearse is owned by William C. Peoples of Marietta, Ohio, who owns Cawley and Peoples Funeral Home. The hearse is still used on special occasions, perhaps carrying a car enthusiast to a final rest in style.Source - National Packard Museum